Sánchez: "The structural reforms we have implemented represent the biggest transformation of the Spanish economy in decades"

President's News - 2023.1.17

Davos-Klosters, Swiss

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has spoken at the Country Strategy Dialogue, within the framework of the World Economic Forum which, under the slogan "Cooperation in a fragmented world", is being held in Davos from 16 to 20 January. During the event, a space for closed-door dialogue between leaders and executives of large companies offered exclusively by those responsible for the Forum to 8 high-level representatives, President Sánchez presented the strategic lines of Spain's economic growth.

Before a select group of CEOs and other senior business leaders, the President of the Government addressed various aspects of the Spanish economy, such as the macroeconomic outlook for Spain, the reforms implemented by the government to promote growth, sustainability and the green agenda, and the state of execution of the investments committed to in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

With regard to the macroeconomic outlook, Pedro Sánchez recalled the five packages of measures approved by the government over the course of 2022 to protect households, SMEs and specific sectors from the impact of the war in Ukraine. In this respect, the president reiterated that economic performance in Spain has been boosted by these measures, highlighting the impact that tools such as the Iberian mechanism have had on the Spanish economy.

Pedro Sánchez stressed that growth in 2022 exceeded 5%, recalling that last December the inflation rate in Spain (5.5%) was the lowest in the EU. The President of the Government also addressed the forecasts of the main international organisations, indicating that they all agree that Spain's growth should exceed the average rates of the advanced economies in 2023, and that inflation will fall further to 2 points below that of the Eurozone. On employment, President Sánchez stressed that Spain has been able to weather the global economic storm, as our country grew by almost half a million jobs last year, recalling that the unemployment rate is now the lowest in the last 15 years.

During his speech, President Sánchez also addressed the policies implemented to promote economic growth. In this regard, he highlighted the far-reaching reforms implemented in the last three years, such as those relating to the labour market, the circular economy, renewable energies, vocational training and the growth and expansion of companies. These policies have helped boost productive investment, as well as retain and attract talent to Spain, contributing to the biggest transformation of the Spanish economy in decades. In short, he reiterated that the implementation of these reforms is generating a structural transformation and, consequently, the accelerated modernisation of the Spanish economy.

With regard to the ecological transition, President Sánchez highlighted the fact that Spain is now recognised as a global leader in this area, having made the green agenda one of the main pillars of the government's policies.

Pedro Sánchez recalled that Spain is the 5th country in the world in wind energy and the 8th in renewable energy generation, and aspires to become a leader in green hydrogen generation. He also emphasised some of our country's strengths in relation to becoming a future major exporter of clean energy. To this effect, the president stressed that Spain's extensive natural gas and liquefied natural gas networks can be adapted to transport and supply green hydrogen. In this regard, he recalled the initiative of the H2Med corridor, which will connect Barcelona with Marseille and transport 2 million tonnes of green H2 by 2030. Second, he pointed to the strength of the Spanish regulatory framework, which allows for the deployment of renewable energies and the promotion of innovation.

Last, President Sánchez addressed the deployment of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, highlighting that Spain was, in 2021, the first country to receive the approval of its Plan, which amounted to €70 billion. He stressed that Spain is the most advanced country in the implementation and execution of European funds. He also highlighted the more than 190,000 projects already financed, recalling that 150,000 Spanish companies are already receiving funds. In this respect, he also addressed the 12 PERTES in strategic areas such as renewable energy, microchips, agribusiness and advanced medicine, among others.

The president stressed that the Government of Spain's approach is already bearing fruit, recalling that Spain attracted foreign investment projects worth €30 billion in 2022, an all-time record. Furthermore, said Pedro Sánchez, the world's largest multinationals are already investing in flagship projects in our country in areas as varied as gigafactories, data centres, hydrogen and cybersecurity.

In response to various questions raised by the leaders of large companies regarding digitalisation, the President of the Government has assured that during the Spanish Presidency of the European Council, Spain will promote policies that favour investment and encourage innovation. Pedro Sánchez has explained that, with his Charter of Digital Rights, Spain is a pioneer in its rights-based approach to digitalisation, reiterating that this is the vision that the Government of Spain advocates for Europe: the guarantee of data protection, privacy, freedom of choice, and a human-centred vision of artificial intelligence.

He also advocated public-private partnerships in areas of connectivity such as 5G, semiconductors and cybersecurity, while addressing a collaborative agenda between the EU and the US to identify needs and promote approaches that will enable both sides to achieve their digitisation goals.

The president also reiterated that Spain wants to become a world leader in the production of green hydrogen, arguing that our country already has the political will and the necessary natural resources and financial means to do so. In this regard, he also stressed that Spain has the cheapest prices in Europe for renewable energy generation, and recalled that our country has become a focus of interest for investors, attracting record figures for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2022.

Pedro Sánchez alluded to the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August in the US, stressing the need to reach an agreement. Furthermore, he stated that this law has served to further highlight the need to move towards a European model of strategic autonomy and towards the search for a common response to protect European industry. This response, he said, will be discussed at the informal European Council in February.

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